Archive | December 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Happy New Year!

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I am so thankful God has blessed me with stable health so that I am able to make another year of memories with those I love. Happy New Year! Make it a GREAT one, only you have the ability to make it great!

Tipsy Teddies ~ Rummy Gummy Bears

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Today is one of my dearest friends’ birthdays! Looking forward to dinner and some fun at the casino with the gals! I found these cute little Coastal Cocktails that just need alcohol added to create flavorful mixes! I wanted to give her something else to go with it and thought I would try to make Tipsy Teddies (aka: rummy gummy bears) that I have seen all over Pinterest!

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You need a mason jar, Barcardi Rum and 3 packages of gummy bears.

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Dump as many gummy bears as you can in the mason jar leaving 1.5” of space from the top (the gummies expand). Pour your choice of liquor, this happened to be rum but I’ve seen vodka used too, until the liquor covers the gummy bears.

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Give it a stir making sure all the bears are in the liquor. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Every couple of hours, give the mason jar a hearty shake.

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After 12 hours I thought I’d give one teddy a try. Woah! It was like taking a straight 1/2 shot of rum! Where’d the fruity flavor go?! I drained the gummy bears in a strainer and put them back in the mason jar. I’ve got to get fruitier flavor back or I should have just wrapped the Barcardi bottle in a bow!

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The hubby had just made a jug of cherry kool-aid. I thought, why not? I covered the gummy bears with kool-aid and left the mason jar on the counter. Again, shake the mason jar every so often.

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After another 12 hours, I tried another one. Perfect! Sweet fruity flavor followed by warm rum. It was the perfect mix of liquor and fruity goodness!

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 I drained the gummy bears and cleaned out the mason jar. I put the gummy bears back in the mason jar and stuck a cute tag on it.

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I’m pretty sure if she wanted to, she could seriously get hammered eating these Tipsy Teddies! You may want a spoon, it is a bit sticky but well worth it!

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I shouldn’t have to say it but in case an idiot is reading my blog, the tipsy teddies are intended for adults not children! Doh!

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!

The picture of the 4 gummy bears yielded unexpected results! I forgot about those 4 lonesome bears. They were left on the plate overnight. The Tipsy Teddies in the Mason Jar were sticky icky, which to me made them less desirable. However, the 4 on the plate, dried out! The bottom was a little sticky so I flipped them over. When I checked them several hours later, they weren’t tacky the least bit! Could you still taste the rum? Heck ya! So the next time I make this, I will spread the rummy gummy bears out on waxed paper for at least 12 hours or until dry and then flip them over for another 12 hours or until dry! Yep, this makes the Tipsy Teddies more enticing to me!

So Many Recipes & Crafts!

I have posted so many recipes that I was having a hard time finding my own recipes, lol! So I added a tab above “Recipe Archives” that lists every recipe (with links) under their categories.

I did the same thing with all the craft projects! I added a tab above “Craft Archives” that lists every craft project (with links).

I figured why stop there? Our life revolves around pulmonary hypertension. That is the hard truth. I added a tab above “Our Phight with Pulmonary Hypertension” that is copied from my post in November 2012. November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness month. I poured my heart out about our PHight. The tab makes it easier for you find information about pulmonary hypertension and how it has impacted our lives.

Happy Blogging!

Beans – True Down Home Comfort Food

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I was born in the Philippines. I lived there for my early childhood. Everything, I mean everything was served with rice. Rice every which way you can dream of and can’t think of: sticky rice, fried rice, sweet rice, chocolate rice, coconut rice, rice cake (literally a cake, a floury cake thingy). There was lots of seafood because well, the Philippines is approximately 7000 islands (depending on typhoon season). So what did I eat growing up? I hate seafood, I hate Chinese or oriental food and rice is usually last on my list of side dishes. We all know I don’t eat anything on a bone (can’t do the tendons, ligaments and all that other stuff). I survived on cheeseburgers, mac-n-cheese and pizza. That sums up my childhood and well, early adulthood. Then I met the love of my life, Steve. Born in Matewan, WV.

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The first time he took me to meet his grandma (whom had 17 children, seriously 17 pregnancies, can you freaking imagine?!) I was in complete awe of this place called “God’s country”. First off, there is an incredible amount of railroad tracks and cricks (creeks for us Northern folks). You were constantly going over a crick or tracks. Lots of amazing trailers, double-wides you would swear were houses on concrete foundations. Big trucks and fast cars everywhere. Clearly folks spent money on their transportation. Where “yall” is one word and there is a smile and wave everywhere you looked. A place where after 5 hours you suddenly had a southern accent (which looked way stupid on this Filipina). The mountains and the hollers are truly breathtaking. It is someplace where an outsider never feels like they are outside. West By God Virginia is truly God’s country.

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On that first trip down to WV, we stopped by his Aunt Barbara’s. She had a huge stockpot on the stove and was making “beans”. Never heard of it. I was 23-years-old. She offered me a small bowl and being polite I took it. With that first bite, the gates of Heaven opened wide and a full gospel choir sang, “Hallelujah”. I finished the small bowl and asked for another big bowl. I’ve been hooked since! Most folks make it with a hamhock. Ok, we know where I stand with bones so that ain’t happening. Through the years, Steve and I mastered our own version of beans and it is mighty tasty! Just a couple hints: save your bacon grease anytime you cook breakfast and make sure the thick ham slices are diced into large chunks. I know for most they are thinking posting a recipe for Beans seems silly. But I can’t be the only one who didn’t have this true down home comfort food until they were in their early 20s?! Someone out there is wondering how to make beans, this post is for you!

Printable Recipe: Beans

Ingredients:

  • Bag of pinto beans

  • Small onion, diced

  • 3 large spoonfuls of bacon grease

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1.5 cups largely diced ham

  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

The night before, rinse off the beans. Put beans in the crockpot.

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Fill with water until the water is approximately 1.5 inches above the beans. Let beans soak over night.

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In the morning, the beans should have swelled up with all the water. Ensure you have 2-3 inches of space between the beans and the top of the crockpot. If the beans swelled higher, remove some of the beans until there is 2-3 inches between the beans and the top of the crockpot. Discard the beans that were removed.

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Add water to about 1/2″ from the top of the crockpot. Add the onions, bacon grease, minced garlic and diced ham. Stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Cook on high for 6-8 hours stirring every hour or so. Add more water as needed to ensure beans remain covered. Cook until beans are tender and broth is thicker. Beans are served best with cornbread. I ain’t talking about your sweet Jiffy cornbread…I’m talking follow the recipe on a container of corn meal kinda cornbread. Enjoy!

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Can’t wait to go back down to WV. I really love it down there!

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Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie

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 Last night we made a Deep Dish Baked Spaghetti Pie! It was super yummy! The ooey, gooey cheese made this dish perfecto! Every Christmas, my mom gives all of us things she finds in flea markets. Generally, we all cringe. It just would make sense to use all the money she spends on the 5-6 items and buy one nice thing for everyone. But you can’t say that to her. So all though my son was smiling when he received his hot pink, teal and black ski gloves, inside he was screaming “Oh my sweet Jesus!” However this year, one of her garage sale/flea market finds was a set of baking dishes for me. I have to admit that they are very lovely. They have this fantastic greenish tint and an intricate design cut into the glass. Each piece is thick and very heavy. The set included a round deep dish, a pie plate and a smaller rectangular casserole dish. It is very pretty and I couldn’t wait to use the deep round dish for this recipe. The round dish measures 11 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches deep. NOTE: you will create two dishes with this recipe, yep, that’s right 2! ~ the deep dish baked spaghetti pie and enough spaghetti left over for another meal on another day. Included in the directions is how to heat up the leftover spaghetti for another meal which is perfect when the kids have a game after school and no one, absolutely no one, wants to cook after sitting outside in either bitter cold or scorching heat for 2-3 hours (because it’s never just 70 degrees and comfortable here in Ohio, lol)!

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Printable Recipe: Deep Dish Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of spaghetti noodles (regular size box and regular noodles)

  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion minced

  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 pound ground beef or ground chuck

  • 1 can of spaghetti sauce (we favor Hunts Garlic & Herb)

  • 2 cans of biscuits (10 piece)

  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

  • Garlic salt to taste

  • Grated parmesan cheese to taste

  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Italian seasoning to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

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In a large stockpot, boil spaghetti noodles following package directions.

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In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in vegetable oil.

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Add ground beef or ground chuck. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Crumble and brown meat until thoroughly cooked (stirring to mix the onions and garlic into it). Drain grease. Set aside.

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Once noodles are fully cooked, drain and return to stockpot. Add can of spaghetti sauce and stir. Our favorite is Hunt’s Garlic and Herb. Add meat mix and stir.

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Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Flatten out biscuits with your hands and press against the bottom and sides of baking dish (creating a pie shell). You will only be using 2 cans of the 4 pack. Save the other two to use with my Easy Sausge Gravy! Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter onto biscuits. Sprinkle garlic salt onto buttered biscuits. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of buttered biscuits.

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Spoon spaghetti on top of biscuits. NOTE: you will only be able to pile on about half of the spaghetti. Allow the remaining spaghetti to cool and put in a ziploc. Place in freezer for an instant meal another day! To heat up left-over spaghetti: Place ziploc in the fridge the night before you are wanting to serve it so that it can thaw out. Place in a microwave safe dish. Add 1/4 cup of water. Place a damp paper towel over the bowl and heat until thoroughly warmed throughout in 60 second increments.

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Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle Italian seasoning to taste.

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Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden.

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Let set for 3-5 minutes before cutting pie into 8 slices.

Crockpot Salisbury Steak

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We all have at one time or another had salisbury steak and we all secretly loved the cubed steak smothered in rich brown gravy. As Steve & I have gotten older, we’ve found that we aren’t too fond of cubed steak (super tough steak) or mushrooms. I came across this RECIPE on Pinterest and just by the ingredients, had to give it a try. Not to mention it’s mostly cooked in a crockpot! Now if you like mushrooms, by all means crack open a can (drain) and add it to the au jus step. So glad we tried out this recipe because it was incredibly delicious, moist and packed with flavor!

Printable Recipe: Crockpot Salisbury Steak

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef or chuck

  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix

  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 (10.75 ounces) cans of condensed cream of chicken soup

  • 1 (1 ounce) packet dry au jus mix

  • 3/4 cup water

Directions:

Get the magic crockpot down.

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In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and milk using your hands (wear disposable cooking gloves). Shape into 8 even and large patties.

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Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add flour to a bowl that is larger than your patties. Once oil is hot, dredge patties in the flour to create a light coating. Add the coated patty to the skillet.

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Brown patties on both sides.

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Remove and layer in the crockpot (stacking alternately like a pyramid).

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In a medium bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soups, au jus mix, and water with a whisk.

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Pour over meat. Cook on low setting for 4 – 5 hours, until the ground beef is well done. Served best over mashed potatoes with a side of stuffing! Salisbury steak made with ground beef and without mushrooms, loving it!

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